November 7, 2016
Harbor Community Benefit Foundation (HCBF) recently announced the awarding of 15 grants as part of its Community Benefit Grant Program. The grants were unanimously approved by the Board of Harbor Commissioners of the Port of Los Angeles at the October 24th meeting. HCBF administers the Port Community Mitigation Trust Fund (PCMTF), which was established to mitigate Port impacts in San Pedro and Wilmington.
POLAHS will receive a $27,000 award for Mr. Dikdan's Marine Biology classes. The grant will cover equipment including 30 compound microscopes and a classroom aquarium. In addition, students will participate in research trips to Catalina Island and the Seabass Hatchery in Carlsbad.
In partnership with University of Southern California (USC) Sea Grant, Marine Biology students will contribute to three critical port mitigation projects:
Water Chemistry and Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Watch
Harmful algal blooms (HAB) erupt off of the California coastline year-round. These blooms produce toxins that cause illness in marine mammals, birds, and humans. POLAHS is the first high school to participate in a nationally-recognized HAB research program at USC. Students collect weekly plankton samples from a local dock, and analyze the samples by looking for algae presence. Findings are then uploaded to a university database. USC research professors use the photograph and video findings to predict and assess harmful algal blooms in the port.
Kelp Forest Research and Restoration
Sargassum, a non-native seaweed, was brought to local harbors and Catalina Island harbors via container ships and private boats. Sargassum is rapidly replacing kelp forests, causing local ecosystems to decline. Marine Biology students monitor and assess water quality and kelp forest growth in San Pedro harbor and Catalina Island.
Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute "Seabass in the Classroom (SITC) Project
Aquaculture is the breeding and harvesting of plants and animals in water. POLAHS students are the first in LA County to raise and release white seabass in the classroom, as part of the SITC aquaculture mitigation project. SITC mitigates the effects of ocean acidification by advancing sustainable aquaculture. SITC focuses on the impacts of water quality on fisheries, and lessens recreational and commercial fishing pressure on local fishery stocks.
THANK YOU, HCBF!